A Saskatchewan singer-songwriter known for his soulful sound and meaningful music is coming to the E.A. Rawlinson Centre stage for an intimate, solo performance.
On Friday the Rawlinson Centre announced that JJ Voss would be performing an onstage cabaret as part of a tour to release his new album on March 26.
The country and roots singer/songwriter will release his third album, Come Along with Me, on March 20 and follow it up with a Western Canadian tour.
“Inspired by songwriters such as Steve Earle, Jason Isbell, Johnny Cash and Jim Cuddy, Voss aims to make relevant music that addresses social issues, and takes a stand for what’s right, a press release accompanying the announcement said.
“He feels compelled to do something constructive with his voice and through his music.”
The album’s title track will be released on Valentine’s Day.
“My friend and co-writer Dean Kush and I wrote a love song to society called Come Along with Me,” Voss said in a press release.
“It’s a passionate plea for us as individuals to put in the work it takes to be better citizens and to heal the divisions which have weakened us as a benevolent people.”
The press release said Voss wrote the album in 2017 while forced to take a one-year hiatus due to major back surgery. He was bedridden with only social media, TV and the news as his connection to the outside world.
He began to digest trends involving nationalism, tribalism, polarization, division and violence, which began to weigh heavily on his mind.
That’s when he wrote Come Along with Me.
Voss’ Prince Albert concert will be part of a new series the Rawlinson Centre launched last year that takes place entirely on the stage. The audience sits around tables on the stage itself, while the artist performs on risers at the front of the stage, the empty auditorium sitting dark in the background.
“It’s a nice full room when you’ve got tables and chairs and a nice place to dance and a friendly audience, said Rawlinson Centre events and marketing coordinator Cara Stelmaschuk.
“It’s a nice, up close and personal performance that is good for a singer-songwriter, especially if he’s performing solo. It’s an intimate performance and you get to see a person’s talent shine through.”
Stelmaschuk said the setup lets you really appreciate good song craftmanship, something she said Voss has in spades.
“It’s really exciting to be able to give a stage to a Saskatchewan artist,” she said.
“He’s established, he’s got some albums out there that are really, rea.ly doing well. We really hope people come out if they know him. If you’re just a fan of country roots music, come out and hear something new. He’s very talented. He’s unassuming and pretty humble when you meet him, but you listen to a few of his songs and it’s ‘dang, this guy’s got some skill.’
“He’s a great songwriter, great lyricist. He’s kind of the whole deal.”
Voss’s prior albums were hits at home and abroad, with ‘Hillbilly storybook’ earning a WCMA Producer of the Year nomination and his sophomore album ‘Show ‘em Who’s Voss’ winning SCMA Roots Album of the year and receiving extensive airplay overseas.
According to a press release, Voss is known for “his ability to fuse the classic country sound into music that’s perfectly suited for modern times.”
Tickets for Voss’s show are available at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre box office.